Timeline Description: John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States. The Navy veteran and senator from Massachusetts was the youngest person elected president. He was president at a very turbulent time for the U.S. as the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War were both underway. Kennedy died when he was assassinated in 1963.
|May 29, 1917||John Fitzgerald Kennedy is born in Massachusetts.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy is born to Joseph P. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in Brookline, Massachusetts on May 29. 1917. He is the second of nine children to be born to the Kennedys.
|June 1940||Kennedy graduates from Harvard College.
JFK graduates cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in international affairs from Harvard College. His thesis, Appeasement at Munich, is published that year as Why England Slept. The book, which describes why Great Britain was unprepared for war with Germany, becomes a bestseller.
|August 3, 1943||Kennedy is wounded in the South Pacific.
After his patrol torpedo boat is rammed by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy leads rescue operations and helps the surviving members of his crew swim to shore. He helped one badly burned crewman to shore by swimming with the strap for the man's life vest between his teeth. Kennedy reinjures his back, which gives him problems throughout his life.
|November 5, 1946||Kennedy is elected to Congress in Massachusetts.
JFK is elected Congressman from the Eleventh District in Massachusetts at age 29. He goes on to serve three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the same district once served by his grandfather, John F. Fitzgerald.
|November 4, 1952||Kennedy becomes a U.S. Senator.
JFK narrowly defeats Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. in the Democratic senate race in Massachusetts. He is re-elected in 1958.
|September 12, 1953||Kennedy marries Jacqueline Bouvier.
JFK marries Jacqueline Bouvier in Newport, Rhode Island. He met her two years earlier at a dinner party in Georgetown. Seven years after their marriage, they would become the youngest president and First Lady in the history of the United States.
|February 1955||Kennedy has his second back operation.
JFK undergoes a second back operation and nearly dies during the procedure. While he is recovering, he writes Profiles in Courage, which wins a Pulitzer Prize in 1957.
|November 8, 1960||Kennedy is elected president of the United States.
JFK is elected the 35th President of the United States at the age of 43. He defeats Richard M. Nixon by a margin of 2/10 of 1 percent with 49.75 percent of the votes. He is the youngest man and the first Catholic ever to be elected president.
|March 1, 1961||Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
JFK establishes the Peace Corps, a volunteer organization that will promote cultural understanding and provide support to developing countries. The first Peace Corps volunteers arrived in Ethiopia in September 1962.
|April 17, 1961||The U.S. invades Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.
The U.S invades Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro's regime. The invasion is unsuccessful and Kennedy accepts responsibility for the failure of the invasion. JFK is heavily criticized.
|September 12, 1962||Kennedy pledges that the U.S. will put a man on the moon.
JFK delivers a speech at Rice University, where he pledges that the United States will put a man on the moon "before the end of this decade." Neil Armstrong walks on the moon seven years later, on July 20, 1969.
|October 16, 1962||Kennedy guides the nation through the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The Cuban Missile Crisis begins when U.S. intelligence discovers that the Russians are building missile sites in Cuba. JFK orders a naval blockade on all shipments of weapons to Cuba. The crisis comes to an end when the Soviets retreat and promise to remove the missiles and the United States agrees not to invade Cuba.
|June 11, 1963||Kennedy sends the Alabama National Guard to the University of Alabama.
Governor George Wallace refuses to allow two African American students to enroll in the University of Alabama after they had won a court order to attend the college. JFK sends the Alabama National Guard to the University of Alabama to protect the two African-American students. Kennedy speaks on television later in the day and expresses his support for the civil rights movement.
|October 7, 1963||John Fitzgerald Kennedy signs the Partial Test Ban Treaty.
JFK signs the Partial Test Ban Treaty, prohibiting nuclear weapons testing with the exception of underground nuclear testing. The Soviet Union and the United Kingdom also sign the treaty.
|November 22, 1963||Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
Lee Harvey Oswald shoots JFK as he travel in a motorcade through downtown Dallas. Kennedy is pronounced dead at 1 p.m. at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as the thirty-sixth President of the United States.